Your mileage may vary

Your Mileage May Vary

Some readers may think that this blog seems to be in danger of becoming an Olympus fan-boi debacle. This is not so. I have a major investment in Canon glass and digital (and film) bodies and I use them regularly.

The micro 4/3 camera gets use as my idealised point & shoot camera. Go back a few entries and you will see how much I dislike the output from P&S digital cameras for my use. Everyone has their own opinions about what hardware suits them, and mine is pretty simple:

  • full-frame sensor cameras are ideal for me, and I won’t go back to crop bodies for my quality photographic uses;
  • the tiny sensor inside even the most sophisticated point and shoot cameras precludes them from having any useful depth-of-field properties, and so I won’t use them if I can avoid it;
  • to by-pass the use of P&S cameras when a full-frame unit is too big, try to find another way.

Pretty simple, isn’t it.

The last point is why I am using and writing about my micro 4/3 use. I find this camera format to be pretty useful – both as a hedge against the hated P&S with its tiny sensor, but it is also able to deliver image quality that although not near that of a big sensor is terrific in its own right, and just streets ahead of that from tiny sensors. And this means that I just might have a camera with me when I actually want one, rather than planning on packing a big SLR kit to suit my needs.

The chart above (Image Credit MegaPixel.Net ) shows relative sensor sizes from digital cameras to illustrate my point about hating P&S cameras because they have infinite depth of field.

I suppose I am getting lazy and so I have been not using my 5D on days when I might only get marginal use. This upsets me as it is a truism that the best camera to use is the one you have with you, and I have not been observing my own rules for a while, so my creative output has been miserable.

Enter my micro 4/3 camera. Small, light, unobtrusive, and most importantly, really portable. It has been grabbed for use on short notice, and so it naturally has been taking the best shots as it simply has been the only camera I have been using. And because it has been spontaneous use, it has been responsible for a spasm of creative output. Most refreshing.

The fact that it is made by Olympus is irrelevant. I use it because it is what I have. If I had a Panasonic M4/3 I would be using that instead. Same sensor, same opportunities for re-using old film-age lenses, same quality available out of the RAW file. The only difference that I am aware of is the electronic viewfinder – it is reviewed as being better in the Olympus, but this is an accident of fate for me.

So – observing two of my maxims, get out and shoot some pictures. Just remember:

  • the best camera to use is the one you have with you; and
  • your mileage may vary.


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